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Lyme Disease and Co-Infections

Tick Talk – There is no time to put off treating Lyme disease

By May 1, 2014July 27th, 2017No Comments

Lyme disease is caused by corkscrew-shaped bacteria called Borrelia Burgdorferi. This bacteria enters the body via a tick bite.

The first sign of infection, if it appears at all, is a bull’s eye-shaped rash. At that point treatment is simple and generally effective. After a month or more, however, it enters a chronic phase, and there is a different set of symptoms and treatment criteria.

Chronic Lyme symptoms vary from person to person depending on which organs that corkscrew-shaped bacteria has drilled into. Cardiac and breathing problems are not uncommon. Joint, and muscle problems, general pain, and extreme fatigue are also expected.

Nervous system symptoms can be the most debilitating and scary. An infected person may experience meningitis (inflammation of the protective membranes around the brain and spine) or encephalitis (inflammation of the brain itself). As you can imagine, this manifests in any numbers of ways: memory loss, personality change, emotional challenges, head pain and pressure, inability to focus, cognitive problems, impaired motor function. The list does indeed go on.

Inflammation can be the cause of many of the symptoms. Inflammation is a normal, healthy immune response. But when it persists or cascades out of control, as in the case of Lyme disease, mysterious and seemingly unrelated symptoms result. And Borrelia seems to deliberately provoke and confuse the immune system in order to increase its chances of survival.

The bacteria, by its nature, causes damage around the body as well. It has a direct impact on symptoms by going where it pleases, provoking the immune system, reproducing, and wreaking havoc. Some Lyme disease patients experience physical tissue damage to the point where it is life threatening.

Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose and treat, especially when co-infections are involved, this disease can be something of a moving target.

Treatment for Lyme disease diagnosed in the first month of infection can be simple: 2-4 weeks of oral antibiotics.

Most cases do not get a diagnosis so soon. Months and years pass. The sufferer may have gone through a dozen false diagnoses and thirty doctors before officially knowing that they have Lyme disease. In the meantime the agents of infection have moved through the body, perhaps permeating and impacting every system. With systems damaged, the body cannot cope as well. Symptoms get worse and the infection is more entrenched than ever.

And if the tick that transmitted Lyme also transmitted one or more co-infections, the situation is more complicated. A co-infection may be bacterial, parasitic, or viral. Each invades and damages in a different way, and each requires a different approach to combat.

There is no one-shot treatment for Lyme disease. There is no one-shot treatment to improve a Lyme disease patient’s quality of life. The way forward is a whole view, integrative approach. Killing bacteria will not automatically restore your body’s ability to protect itself, calm inflammation, or soothe pain. Invasive organisms can cause real damage that does not disappear with them.

Then there is the fact that Borrelia Burgdorferi, the Lyme-causing bacteria, is a complex organism with the ability to evade, hide from, neutralize, or become impervious to the immune system and other attacks. It can, for example, form into cystic colonies coated in a substance called biofilm. Many organisms create biofilm that is evident, from the plaque on your teeth to the algae in your pool. Plaque is difficult to remove, and many forms of algae will not die from anti-fungal substances until you scrub the biofilm layer off of them.

The Nardella Clinic addresses the nuances of eliminating an organism with remarkable survival traits. But we also evaluate the body’s systems and how they interact to figure out which ones are struggling or need help repairing. In this way we empower the body to thrive while eliminating the organisms that hinder it. Optimum health is not just absence of disease.

Treatment that focuses on directly confronting and killing infection include oral antibiotics, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, intravenous ozone, intravenous hydrogen peroxide, and ultraviolet blood irradiation. They go along with supportive treatment such as addressing biofilm.

The selection of treatment options that support the body as a whole is wide. Intravenous nutrients, such as high dose Vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals, are key. Optimizing digestion has a profound effect on all the body’s systems, including the immune system. Balancing all the body’s hormones can aid stress, neurotransmitters, and more. A change in diet can be an important factor in giving your body the resources it needs to restore order. And of course we have an arsenal of herbal medicine that is both deep and broad. We will gather all the information possible to ensure the most effective options are part of your tailored treatment plan.

Lyme disease makes the term “cured” especially difficult to use. Some patients improve to the point that there is no trace they ever had an infection. Others experience periods of recurrence that subside on their own. Still others relapse and require further treatment. “Cured” depends a lot on your perspective and goals. Our guarantee is that we will not stop trying to reach them if you won’t.

If you have experienced such an occurrence or just discovered you have Lyme disease, there are options, Contact us.

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